I’m posting this because thanks to a similar post from this website I just avoided being scammed. I’m a Spanish student about to start an internship in Munich, a city well known for its accomodation shortage, especially for students. Searching for flats I came across the following property. The host seemed to answer all of my emails really quick and had no problem with the duration of my stay. I showed interest and the conversation went as follows:
Thank you for your answers. You can rent the apartment how long you want, My children are at school here and I don’t have plans to move again in Germany. Last week I took two days off from my job and came to show the apartment to a person that was interested in renting it. When I arrived there, he called me and said that he was no longer interested in my apartment. I have lost money and time.
So, in this case we can use Airbnb. Here is a brief description of the process: they will send an agent, and you will visit the apartment in his presence. You will be able to sign the contract with them. They will also handle the money and the documents so both of us will be protected and secured. You will not pay any additional commission or other taxes. The total amount that you will have to pay will be: 1 month in advance, 500 EUR warranty + 720 EUR = 1220 EUR.
To continue this transaction through Airbnb you must to send me these details: complete name and address of the future tenant; direct telephone number (mobile); I also need a copy of your ID or passport to complete the lease agreement After you give me your details I will forward them to Airbnb to make the reservation on your name. They will send an email to confirm your booking details.
Finally, you will get an invoice to make the deposit in their bank account to show your interest and provide assurance. After the company receives the deposit confirmation they will send a designated agent with the keys and the documents. The agent will arrange the visit with you if you decide to rent the apartment. If you refuse the apartment, you are fully refunded the same day. I am under contract with the company and they offer the best security methods available.
I await your answer because I have other tenants interested in the flat.
Of course the website in which her appartment was listed was not the official Airbnb website, but a really good fake. So good that I almost took the bait. Here is the link to the fake Airbnb listing, please take into account this is not the official Airbnb site.
Notice how close the layout is to the real thing. Especially for people who do not use Airbnb that much and are not used to the official site, it can do the trick and provide this fake sense of security. It indeed said that she was a verified hostess: there was a picture of her, and comments from fake previous tenants. When I went on the real Airbnb website I of course could not find her apartment.
Just letting everybody out there know that you always have to double check accommodation in cities such as Munich, especially if you are are a student. I hope this helped someone and screwed those scammers.